Zero Carbon Building Pilot Program

Canada’s most innovative projects participate in CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Pilot Program.

Spanning the length of the country from Dartmouth to Kelowna, this elite group of 16 projects have been chosen to participate
in a two-year pilot of CaGBC's Zero Carbon Building Standard.

These diverse project types represent how the standard is broadly applicable:

Size ranges from 20,000 to 1.3 million sq.ft.
Both existing buildings and new construction
Institutional buildings, offices, multi-unit residential and commercial
warehouses included.

Their experience will inform the further development of the Standard as well as tools, resources and education to accelerate market transformation.

View the project profiles, renderings and other details below and watch this page for updates as the projects move through
the design and construction phase.


Mohawk College, Joyce Centre for
Partnership & Innovation, Hamilton, Ontario

Mohawk College in Hamilton will be home to Canada’s largest, and the city’s first, Net-Zero energy institutional building. The 92,000 square foot facility, scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2018, will feature labs, workshops, lecture theatres and industry training centres. Environmental technologies will include a high-performance building envelope to maximize heating, cooling and natural light, solar panel and thermal arrays, geothermal wells, variable refrigerant flow heat pumps, and storm water harvesting. The $54 million Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation is supported by the Government of Canada, the Joyce Family Foundation, ArcelorMittal Dofasco and the Mohawk Students’ Association.

For a full case study and videos of progress, click here »

Major renovation at Arthur Meighen Building
25-55 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario

The Arthur Meighen Building at 25-55 St. Clair in Toronto, Ontario, is a 10-storey building with an area of 41,085 m2. The major renovation of this 1950s building has been identified by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) as a flagship model that demonstrates the government commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. Renovations of the building include energy and non-energy targets related to building stabilization, meeting federal sustainability requirements as well as compliance to applicable building codes and workplace fit-up policies. A sustainability feasibility study was carried out to consider different design options, focusing on energy-efficiency and on-site renewable generation. The study showed that it is possible to reduce the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by 88%, compared to the current building’s performance, at an additional life-cycle cost of 6% (over 25 years).

evolv1, Waterloo, Ontario

Waterloo based Cora Group’s evolv1 is a uniquely modern 110,000sf urban office building designed for today’s millennial tech-savvy workforce. Located on the doorstep of ION Light Rail Transit, evolv1 offers a perfect light-filled home for growing technology or professional services companies.

evolv1 incorporates a geo-exchange / VRF HVAC system, with a solar wall for preheated ventilation and a green wall for enhanced IAQ. The site hosts a combination of carport and roof mounted photovoltaics producing 700kW of electricity back to the grid making it a net positive energy candidate. The building is currently on track to achieve LEED platinum certification.

City of Vancouver Zero Emissions Fire Hall, Vancouver, British Columbia

The City of Vancouver Zero Emissions Fire Hall project is a new fire hall being designed to a post disaster standard. The new building is being designed to be certified to a Passive House standard to reduce energy consumption as much as possible, will use no fossil fuels, and will also be certified to a LEED gold standard. The design will incorporate the generation of on-site renewable solar PV energy in order to offset all of the remaining greenhouse gas emissions, to meet the requirements of the CAGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Framework, and is being used as a demonstration project to develop a new zero emissions building standard for future City of Vancouver owned buildings.

EcoLock, Kelowna, British Columbia

EcoLock is a five story, 10,270 m2 personal-storage and co-work facility proposed for downtown Kelowna that uses a new model to support responsible urban living. The building provides remote storage for individuals and businesses in an environment designed to the highest environmental standard for buildings and communities while enhancing neighborhood character with cutting edge architecture and material use.

The unique structure will be the first in the world to utilize a patented High Performance Building Block System with a negative carbon material classification. Planned for net-zero energy, along with other achievements that provide a model for water conservation and stewardship, high performance, waste diversion, healthy materials, support for local culture and the arts, and biodiversity enhancement.

MacKimmie Complex Redevelopment,
Calgary, Alberta

The MacKimmie Complex Redevelopment project is a multi-year, multi-phase project to address deferred maintenance and accommodate growth on the University of Calgary campus. The MacKimmie Complex will be redesigned to provide a re-energized central hub of classrooms, centralized undergraduate and graduate student services, student study space, and much needed academic space in the heart of the main campus. The MacKimmie Project is striving to be one of the most energy-efficient buildings on a Canadian post-secondary campus; to holistically support and enable the health, well-being, and comfort of the campus community; and to be a showcase for a rich diversity of experiential learning and applied research opportunities on sustainability in the built environment. Read the full project profile »

Wilkinson Avenue Net-Zero Heating Energy Warehouse, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Our project is 65,000-ft² multi-tenant warehouse building located in Dartmouth NS scheduled for occupancy in the spring of 2018. The building features a tight and well insulated building envelope, heat recovery ventilation and a central in-floor heating system supplied by air-to-water heat pumps with a peak-load natural gas boiler. A net-metered solar PV system has been sized to offset the cost of both fuel sources to provide the tenant zero (or near zero) heating costs for typical* building use. Expected heating energy intensity of 1.6 e-kWh/ft²
*based on data from similar buildings in our portfolio

Walkerton Clean Water Centre, Walkerton, Ontario

The Province of Ontario has submitted the Walkerton Clean Water Centre as one of the participants in the Net Zero Carbon Pilot program.

This high-performing site could be upgraded with improved site lighting, heating, and solar shading. The Province is also considering integrating solar Photovoltaic cells. Deeper carbon reductions could come from building operation adjustments, and tenant behavior changes.

The project team is excited to find out what other program participants are considering for their facilities, and to share knowledge of what has worked to improve the Walkerton Clean Water Centre’s carbon performance.

NiMa Trails – Residential, Commercial
Net Zero Building, Guelph, Ontario

Consisting of 8 residences and ground floor commercial with basement storage. Constructed of solid precast concrete walls, roof and floors. Thermally broken exterior, insulated continuously with appropriate thicknesses to the outside of the structural concrete mass, providing the resilience and energy efficient building envelope required including triple glazing. Photovoltaic solar panels on the roof and parking areas, thermal solar panels for DHW requirements, in floor heating, cooling with geothermal ground loops taking advantage of the site’s ground water and natural surroundings. This project is jointly brought to the fore by Developer Terra View Homes and Design Builder and Manufacturer Newton Group Ltd.

New Curé-Paquin Elementary School,
Saint-Eustache, Québec

This new elementary school will welcome over 300 students in late fall 2018. The 2800 m² locally-sourced wood building will create a comfortable learning environment with an ambitious energy intensity target of less than 0.20 GJ/m2y. Passive strategies include: an enhanced building envelope with reduced thermal bridging, optimized natural daylighting and ventilation, and low carbon/VOC materials for improved IAQ. Active strategies include 100% geothermal for heating and cooling, with hydronic radiant floors, displacement ventilation and heat recovery; sensor-controlled LED lighting; and PV to meet remaining energy demands and enable net metering long term. The schoolyard design is biophilic and the site planning supports low carbon transportation.

Ask the Expert: Maxime Boisclair of Beaudoin Hurens discusses their involvement in CaGBC's Zero Carbon Building Pilot Program »

West 8th and Pine, Vancouver:
Proposed Mixed-Use Development,
Vancouver, British Columbia

Perkins+Will is in the early stages of design for a mixed-use high performance development in Vancouver that aims to set a new environmental standard for the city. The project seeks to be a deeply sustainable development integrating energy, water, health and wellness, and social sustainability. With an initial energy target of 40 kWH/m2/yr, the project endeavors to comply with the City of Vancouver’s new Zero Emissions Building Plan, pursue Passive House certification, and sets ambitious goals for potable water use reduction and rainwater reuse.

Health Sciences Center (HSC),
Kelowna, British Columbia

This 30,000 ft2 addition to our existing Laboratory building will provide a state of the art facility to better serve our healthcare sciences students. Following similar guiding principles as our previous Center of Excellence, and most recent Trades Training Complex, this building will be certified LEED Platinum and will also include Solar Arrays as well as utilizing heat from the neighboring waste water treatment plant for its primary energy needs. Other features (typical of OC’s construction standard) will include:

  • Energy consumption target of <75 ekWh/m2/annum
  • Storm water harvesting
  • LED lighting w/ daylight harvesting
  • High-efficiency plumbing fixtures
  • Green roof


1133 Melville, Vancouver, British Columbia &
30 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario

Oxford has been a leader in sustainability since first announcing our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our portfolio by 20% in 2008. Our commitment to maintaining our leadership position in sustainability has taken a lot of work and brought with it a lot of firsts. Most notably, Oxford has been recognized as the North American leader in sustainability (diversified office/retail category) by GRESB for four consecutive years. Oxford is now committing to the next leadership challenge: participating in CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Buildings Standard pilot program for two premier office tower developments, 1133 Melville in Vancouver and 30 Bay Street in Toronto.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) New Headquarters, Toronto, Ontario

TRCA’s new corporate headquarters is a six storey, 100,000 square foot, wood-structured building that will be designed to achieve zero carbon, LEED Platinum and WELL Building Certifications. This project makes a conscious effort to achieve a low-carbon footprint through all lifecycle phases, with model simulations predicting over 50% reduction in operating emissions, and over 75% reduction in embodied carbon compared to the average Toronto building. Funded by our six municipal partners, TRCA’s new headquarters will be utilized as a learning centre – a living laboratory for developers, researchers, professionals and students – that will contribute to the uptake of methods and technologies that demonstrate zero carbon features, green infrastructure restoration, and continue our role as a leader in environmental education.